Originally posted on outloudculture.com on Dec. 11, 2015
Since the June 26 Supreme Court ruling that gave the right to marry to all people regardless of sexual identity throughout the land, the lives of millions (including my own) have changed for the better.
For too long the LGBTQ+ community has been viewed by the rest of society as an exotic exhibit at the World’s Fair. But since June 26, in the eyes of the law we are now seen as equal. Now comes the healing. The next few decades will focus on the community’s assimilation and normalization into the mainstream.
No longer will a kid somewhere in rural Indiana have to forever live in the closet. No more will a transgender woman never be able to see who she really is. The acceptance that the community has yearned for is almost here. One of the great examples of our assimilation is Jill Soloway’s “Transparent” which is now in its second season.
Of course “Transparent” is a show about a transgender woman trying to navigate through life with grown kids. Yet this season has presented that perhaps it is more about a family. The Pfeffermans have tried and failed at presenting themselves as a “normal” family last season and now they are beginning to accept that they are different from everyone else and in this difference they find normality.
This is clear in the opening minutes of the “Kina Hora” which is set at Sarah and Tammy’s wedding. The family has gathered to take wedding photos complete with a flamboyant wedding planner and the obligatory bickering that comes with trying to get an entire family in one place. It’s chaos of the early Spielberg kind. Mora is asking the photographers questions while the wedding planner is screaming in his ear. Tammy and Sarah keep adding people with the most random edition being the Rabbi Raquel. But when they finally take the picture it becomes a memory stuck in time. Then comes Tammy’s family who include both of her ex-wives.
Sarah and Tammy’s relationship has been moving too fast ever since the first season and only now is Sarah realizing that she actually does love Len. Throughout the entire series, Sarah has been the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Does the rest of her family think that her and Tammy’s relationship is some sort of screwed-up? Like most other families, it’s never mentioned because they all support her decisions, even her developing one to end the relationship.
The most irritating and selfish character in “Transparent” is Josh, but since his discovery of Colton being his son, he has shown some clear change and a need to settle down and become a true father. He and the Rabbi are pregnant and he wants to do fatherhood right, though his past says otherwise. It is legitimate however, he’s so excited of the prospect that he breaks the news to his twin sister Ali early, who soon breaks it to Sarah, who tells her mother who tells everyone.
And speaking of Ali, she has grown in an artificial sense. Her immaturity is still there yet there is a yearning to finally grow up. She only has to take one more class to get her bachelors before she goes to grad school to do… what? It doesn’t matter because she’s still trying to figure that part out. But aren’t we all? Ali has also taken the role of comforter. During Sarah’s breakdown, she knows exactly how to handle the situation and does so without flaw. Good job, Ali!
Moving on from the kids, creator Jill Soloway is still aware of how hard life is for transgender people and other members of their family. Maura is stunned to find out that her sister, who has hated her since she was a man, is at the wedding. Though she tries her best to make amends with her, her sister refuses to accept Maura for who she is and even goes as far as to forbid her from seeing their mother.
Maura now has to let her sister — and as a result, her mother — go even though she still loves them. Why else would she want to see her mom?
Speaking of mothers, Shelly has always been such a treat in this show as their neurotic mother. That isn’t to say she’s not accepting of her husband’s coming out. She is so supportive of her loves her with all her heart. Though they may never sleep in the same bed, she knows that her love for her husband goes beyond that. That’s why she says to her, “You are beautiful.”
“Transparent” came out strong this week which is always a good sign for a series.
Note: Due to the nature of the series, I will be posting episode-by-episode reviews twice a week to open the weekend on Friday and close it on Sunday.